Educate / Engage

Questions to ask on a tour of a long-term care facility

If you have enough time to prepare before they’re admitted, plan to visit a long-term care facility with mom or dad. Reach out to the admissions director and schedule a tour.

If you’ve taken your kids on a campus tour checking out their college—think of it like that. Well, sort of. Okay, not really, but the same way you would ask questions on a college tour is the same approach you should take to facilities except your focus is on medical care first and foremost.

As emotional as this can get, here’s a checklist to help you think objectively.

  • How many physicians are on staff and what does the nursing care look like—how often would mom or dad have their medical care tended to? How many rooms are in the unit of the wing per ratio to each nurse and/or aide?
  • What’s the turnover of staff? Do they stay there a while or is there a constant revolving door (a red flag, by the way).
  • Observe and listen. Is there a lot of commotion or does the staff seem relatively calm?
  • How is patient care in general?
  • Do patients have the same aides and nurses every day or do they rotate?
  • Is there a social worker you can meet? If you have issues once mom or dad is admitted, the social worker internally may become your BFF.
  • Ask which hospital would your mom or dad be sent to in case of an emergency. For instance, if the facility’s in another county from their primary care physician and all of their medical records, if hospitalized, they may be in another “network” and out of their primary care physician’s reach.

What questions did you ask on your tour that would help other Exhale First community members? Sound off in our Facebook group!